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Gibson, Shuler and Hall fall prey to the first round of roster cuts, Siemian OFFICIALLY STARTING

Three former Wildcats saw their NFL dreams take a hit this week, but a certain defending Super Bowl champion made a statement on who they trust to lead their title defense.

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the first round of cuts (down to 75) due this weekend, several former Northwestern Wildcats have been through some nervous hours. Here’s what happened to all the younger guys and bubble candidates this week.

DE Deonte Gibson, Detroit Lions

The fourth week of the preseason brought some rough news for Gibson:

Things had been trending in a downward direction for Gibson for a while in Detroit, and after not appearing in the Lions 30-9 loss to Baltimore on Saturday, it didn’t take long for them to cut ties with the former-Northwestern defensive end.

Gibson is still eligible for the Lions practice squad, so we’ll see if they decide to hold on to him in that capacity. In the meantime, Gibson seems at peace with the organization’s decision, albeit disappointed:

WR Miles Shuler, Carolina Panthers

Add Shuler to the list of former Wildcats on the chopping block this week.

Shuler was among three players cut by Carolina on Sunday, two days after registering one catch for 23 yards on five targets in the team’s 19-17 loss to New England. The game represented a high water mark in production for Shuler in his Panthers tenure, but the team evidently didn’t see enough in him to keep him on board.

WR Kain Colter, Buffalo Bills

Colter survived the first round of roster cuts in Buffalo, but failed to reel in his only target of the Bills’ 21-16 loss to Washington Friday. Colter has no catches on six targets through the first three weeks of the preseason and, unless that changes, it may only be a matter of time before his time with Buffalo comes to a close.

WR Rashad Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s been a quiet week for Rashad. He is still with Jacksonville, but he didn’t appear in the Jaguars’ third preseason game of the year on Sunday, and there have been no rumblings regarding his practice performance so far this week.

The good news is there also hasn’t been any buzz around Lawrence on the roster-cuts front. He’s safe for now.

S Jimmy Hall, Oakland Raiders

Back to the bad news. Although Hall began the offseason a favorite to land a spot on the Raiders’ roster, the team severed ties with the second-year safety on Monday.

Injuries doomed Hall in his Raiders tenure, but there’s still time for the athletic Northwestern product to find a place in the league.

S Ibraheim Campbell, Cleveland Browns

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on Campbell, but for good reason: he’s a definitive lock to make the 53-man roster for Cleveland; he’s expected to be a vital piece of the Browns’ defense in 2016.

The buzz is that Campbell has a legitimate shot to lock down the No. 1 safety slot in Cleveland. Performances like his five-tackle game against Tampa Bay on Friday only aid him in this cause.

LB Brian Peters, Houston Texans

We haven’t included Peters on these lists yet, but we felt inclined to do so this week Why?

Peters has found a niche in the pros as a special teams ace—he led the league in special teams tackles last year—but this is another step. Long-snapping? That’s impressive.

DE Dean Lowry, Green Bay Packers

Lowry earned starts in each of the Packers’ first two preseason contests, but sat in favor of Mike Pennel Friday.

This likely doesn’t impact Lowry’s chances of making the Green Bay roster, as he’s been getting run with the first-stringers (and impressing) all offseason.

FB Dan Vitale, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Danny Vitale preseason tour continues. This time in Cleveland with a guy who’s already come up once in this article: Ibraheim Campbell of the Browns.

Tampa won the game 30-13 without much contribution from Vitale; he didn’t register a catch or tackle in the game. Vitale remains a near-lock to crack the Bucs’ final roster, barring injury, though.

Keep up with Vitale’s offseason diary here.

QB{1} Trevor Siemian, {Defending Super Bowl Champion} Denver Broncos

Call it over-embellishment if you like, but how could I resist?


Of course Schefty wasn’t surprised, but then again, neither were we.

This monumental announcement comes on the heels of a solid outing in Denver’s third preseason contest: Siemian completed 10 of 17 passes for 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Here’s a look at just about everything you need to see from Denver’s 17-9 victory over St. Louis:

Rookie Paxton Lynch followed up Siemian’s performance by completing 6 of 13 passes for 57 yards and no scores (yawn). Mark Sanchez didn’t appear in the game and has been the subject of trade rumors all week. His time in Denver seems to be coming to a close as Siemian’s reign begins.

We watched. We waited. We hoped. And it happened. Trevor Siemian is now the starting quarterback of a defending Super Bowl champion squad. With the help of the best defense in football and some legitimate weapons on the offensive side of the ball, Touchdown Trev will enter 2016 looking to build off of, frankly, an already impressive NFL career.

Let’s see what he can do.